Port of Durban Container Volumes Surge in 2018

South Africa’s Port of Durban has recorded an increase in container, liquid bulk and dry bulk volumes in 2018, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) data shows.

Illustration; Image Courtesy: TPT

Container volumes in the Port of Durban increased by 9.5% to 2.95 million TEUs for the year ending December 31, 2018, compared to 2.69 million TEUs handled in 2017. Of this, container imports grew by 10% in 2018 and exports by 17%.

The figures are the highest volumes handled by the port in the last seven years, TNPA said.

Dry bulk volumes were up by 5.8%, driven mainly by dry bulk exports while imports remained fairly stable. The biggest growth in imports was seen from rice and associated products, wheat, malt, fertiliser products, coal and coke, while maize, sugar and chrome ore exports also bolstered dry bulk volumes.

Liquid bulk volumes grew 3.1%, mainly due to demand factors as well as South Africa being a net importer of crude.

The port also witnessed a growth in its automotive throughput with imports rising by 4% and exports by more than 15% year-on-year excluding transhipment and coastwise cargo. The Port of Durban handled a total of just over 487,000 units in 2018 which is the highest since 2013 when a throughput of 503,000 units was recorded.

Breakbulk volumes in 2018 were relatively on par with 2017 volumes.

“The Port of Durban continues to work with terminal operators and other stakeholders to ensure improvements in terminal productivity levels for quicker ship turnaround times,” Port of Durban Acting Port Manager, Nokuzola Nkowane, said.